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‘Pissed’ former UFC champion waiting on cadaver parts to rebuild wrecked shoulder: ‘I have to get back in there’

T.J. Dillashaw is still holding out hope that a rebuilt shoulder will let him return to active UFC competition.

UFC 280: Sterling v Dillashaw Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

T.J. Dillashaw may have retired from mixed martial arts (MMA) earlier this year, but it wasn’t by choice. Indeed, if his shoulder wasn’t still messed up, he’d jump right back in there.

Unfortunately, his shoulder is really messed up. Dillashaw injured it while training for a title shot against Aljamain Sterling, and instead of pulling out of the fight, he decided to compete anyway. That resulted in a one-sided loss to “Funkmaster” (watch it), and a completely wrecked shoulder.

In a new interview with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Dillashaw described just how bad it is.

“Like every doctor I’ve met, they’re all specialists on my shoulder, they’re all telling me they can’t put me back good enough to be able to fight again,” Dillashaw said. “Doctors aren’t always right, but I have to have a super-extensive shoulder surgery. What I’m waiting on now is some cadaver parts. I need a cadaver shoulder head bone because mine got all dented ... because I dislocated it like 20 times and put a big dent in my shoulder. So, they gotta cut that off and replace it.

“Cadaver — it’s got to be my blood type, it’s got to fit my size,” he continued. “So, I’ve been asking people, ‘What’s your blood type? I’ll run you over with my truck!’ I’m [blood type] O. O negative is the universal bloodtype. I’m O positive.”

If and when Dillashaw gets literally Frankenstein’d back together, he’s hoping he can jump right back into the tippy top of UFC’s 135-pound division.

“By far, I believe I’m the best guy in the weight class,” he said. “And for the sport to be taken from me the way that it was, it just doesn’t sit well with me. It kind of pisses me off. If the shoulder’s good, man, definitely I have to get back in there. I can’t let it go out the way it did.

“I didn’t want to retire,” Dillashaw added. “It’s been an actual real bitter thing. It’s been hard for me to be around the sport recently like even helping my training partner, Juan Archuleta, fighting in Japan in RIZIN for the belt. It’s been hard for me to wrap my head around being around the sport at the same time being forced out of it, and also just my career panning out the way it did toward the end. Like really just bitter.”

It doesn’t sound promising for Dillashaw. There’s the will, but is there a way? Let this be a lesson to all the up-and-coming fighters: don’t dislocate your shoulder more than 20 times in an attempt to stay in a title fight.

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